• Social Media Users’ Legal Consciousness About Privacy

  • This article explores the ways in which the concept of privacy is understood in the context of social media and with regard to users’ awareness of privacy policies and laws in the ‘Post-Snowden’ era. In the light of presumably increased public exposure to privacy debates, generated partly due to the European “Right to be Forgotten” ruling and the Snowden revelations on mass surveillance, this article explores users’ meaning-making of privacy as a matter of legal dimension in terms of its violations and threats online and users’ ways of negotiating their Internet use, in particular social networking sites. Drawing on the concept of legal consciousness, this article explores through focus group interviews the ways in which social media users negotiate privacy violations and what role their understanding of privacy laws (or lack thereof) might play in their strategies of negotiation. The findings are threefold: first, privacy is understood almost universally as a matter of controlling one’s own data, including information disclosure even to friends, and is strongly connected to issues about personal autonomy; second, a form of resignation with respect to control over personal data appears to coexist with a recognized need to protect one’s private data, while respondents describe conscious attempts to circumvent systems of monitoring or violation of privacy, and third, despite widespread coverage of privacy legal issues in the press, respondents’ concerns about and engagement in “self-protecting” tactics derive largely from being personally affected by violations of law and privacy.

  • PDF

  • http://phaidra.univie.ac.at/o:923802

  • Article

  • Published Version

  • 2017

  • 3

  • 1

  • SAGE Publications

  • English

  • Open access

  • 2056-3051

  • online privacy; social media; legal consciousness; awareness; disclosure